Patrick Reed, one of the most polarising characters on the PGA Tour, is in the eye of a Twitter storm again after another controversy involving the golf rules book.
Reed is currently co-leader after three rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. On the par 4 tenth hole yesterday, Reed put his second shot into deep rough.
You can see from this slow motion replay that Reed's ball took one bounce before disappearing into the rough.
— Oma Golf (@oma_golf) January 30, 2021
When Reed arrived at his ball, a volunteer told him the ball had not bounced. Reed believed this entitled him to relief, and he picked his ball up. He discussed this with PGA official Brad Fabel before the placing the ball in light rough and saving par. You can watch the exchange below.
The full exchange as Patrick Reed takes embedded ball relief on No. 10. pic.twitter.com/gSPH6PrAoW
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2021
After the round, Reed found out the ball had bounced before disappearing into the rough. Still, he remained resolute that he had done the right thing.
"When you have the rules officials and everybody come up and said that you did it textbook and did it exactly how you're supposed to do, then that's all you can do. I mean, when we're out there and we're playing, we can't see everything.
The PGA Tour officials seemed completely satisfied with Reed's actions, calling them 'textbook'.
However golf fans on social media were apoplectic that Reed had picked up his ball and claimed relief without consulting with an official.
Reed, knowing the cameras are following his group, could have asked a rules official to check the tape to see if his ball bounced. It did!
Instead he picks it up, then calls a rules official in to "double check" and gets the free drop.
And gets it up and down. Unreal.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) January 30, 2021
Coincidentally, on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines yesterday, Rory McIlroy had embedded his second shot in the rough. McIlroy picked up his ball without consulting with an official, claimed relief and continued to play.
Rory McIlroy takes embedded ball relief on No. 18 during Round 3. pic.twitter.com/9D4HH4Gv5g
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 31, 2021
After the round, Reed continued to defend himself on social media. Interestingly, a tweet sent from his account that used McIlroy's actions as a defence also appeared on the twitter account @useGolfFACts with the exact same words and all-caps typeface. The Golf FACTS account tweeted first and Reed 's account followed six minutes later.
So... this just happened pic.twitter.com/W3OEMenUpv
— Jacob Hallex (@jacob_hallex) January 31, 2021
Twitter sleuths were putting two and two together and wondering if someone close to the 2018 Masters champions was operating a burner account. The Golf FACTS Twitter account was started in 2018 and its first like was of an article entitled 'In Defence of Patrick Reed'.
Of course, this is not Reed's first brush with controversy. It all adds up to a very interesting final round at Torrey Pines this evening.